Best Judge (If You're Michael Lazaroff)

Charles Shaw

Even though most defendants in criminal cases dread federal court and shudder at the phrase "sentencing guidelines," St. Louis lawyer Michael Lazaroff was able to prove that the feds' bark is worse than the bite. Lazaroff was the legal genius and gifted Democratic fundraiser who was able to enrich his personal coffers by $500,000. All he had to do was commit a little fraud to get it. He was eventually prosecuted, and he even pleaded guilty to the crime, but not before he promised to play the "snitch" game, rolling over on those he had bilked money from in the first place. In return, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Shaw gave him the country-club treatment. Lazaroff was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 90 days' house arrest in his Town & Country manse, 120 days' community service and restitution.

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